U and Non-U (more)

The U and Non-U debate continues in the pages of the TLS. The latest batch of comments centers on the proper salutation before having a drink. A letter takes issue with the Non-U status imposed on “Cheers” by Nancy Mitford, which may be acceptable in U circles if pronounced “Chars.” Similarly, in the N.B. column, “Bottoms up” and “Chin-chin” may be U-ish “if accompanied by an ironic smile.” The discussion concluded (for this week at least) with this:

Martin Murphy cites Men at ArmsĀ by Evelyn Waugh: “‘Here’s how,’ said Major Tickeridge, downing his pink gin…’Here’s how,’ said Mr Crouchback with complete serenity. But Guy could only manage an embarrassed grunt”.

There’s always “Here’s to you” or–again with a familiar wink–“Here’s lookin’ at you. Another reader suggests “Good health”. On which none can improve.

Thanks to Peggy Troupin for keeping us updated.

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